'How I Met Your Mother' and the Hollywood Love Fantasy

'How I Met Your Mother' and the Hollywood Love Fantasy

It’s safe to say most How I Met Your Mother viewers were disappointed by the final episode. For me, this show had been going downhill for a long, long time and the convoluted writing of the last episode just confirmed that the writers lost control of the plot several seasons ago. Although I am pretty irritated that Ted and Robin ended up together, the fact is that this show had been failing in my eyes because of its ridiculous portrayals of relationships that weren’t Lily and Marshall’s.

Ted and Tracy in How I Met Your MotherImage: CBS

It’s safe to say most How I Met Your Mother viewers were disappointed by the final episode. For me, this show had been going downhill for a long, long time and the convoluted writing of the last episode just confirmed that the writers lost control of the plot several seasons ago. Although I am pretty irritated that Ted and Robin ended up together, the fact is that this show had been failing in my eyes because of its ridiculous portrayals of relationships that weren’t Lily and Marshall’s.

While Lilypad and Marshmallow were a model couple, Ted was a complete mess in regards to dating. That’s completely fine—and a hundred percent realistic. It’s hard to get a grip on dating and choosing a partner while building a career and figuring out who you are. The problem with Ted, though—and with the women he dated—is that he very much perpetuates the idea of the knight in shining armour and the damsel in distress. Ted also suffers from Nice GuyTM Syndrome, often complaining that he will never find the one because no one is good enough to fit his mail-order-wife box.

It’s honestly infuriating.

With this in mind, this is what we have learned from Ted Mosby:

1. When you fall for a girl, insist on asking her out and proclaiming your love for her for years, even when you have broken up twice, she is engaged to your best friend, and she has rejected you repeatedly.

2. If your friends try to warn that your behaviour is excessive and/or crazy, IGNORE THEM and tell yourself you're doing it for love. It’s okay if you’re creepy, inconsequential, and possessive for years if you’re doing it for love!

3. All women love grand gestures—and these gestures lead to IMMEDIATE forgiveness. Women are also never embarrassed by huge romantic gestures; you don’t even have to ask. If you haven’t conquered a woman’s heart yet, it’s because you haven’t gone big enough (even though she (Robin Schebatsky, Season 1) told you that she hates this type of thing).

4. Immediately fall in love in the first seconds of first dates, then break up because the girl doesn't fit your idea of the perfect woman. In reality, you are still hoping your ex will get back with you despite the fact that SHE IS ENGAGED TO ANOTHER MAN.

5. Start using your fantasy woman as an excuse for being single and lonely. No one is good enough unless she plays bass, paints robot art pieces, and sings music theatre tunes while baking, right?

6. Once you FINALLY find the woman that fits into your mail-order-woman box, wait for her to die, tell your kids a nine-year-long story about how you met their mother where you only mention her a dozen times, then go get your ex-girlfriend back. (Does anyone else feel that Tracy was a consolation prize for Ted?)

7. Eventually, the woman you are completely obsessed with will realize you are the man of her life, despite repeated rejections over several years. Eventually, she will realize that she missed out on a Nice Guy.

I think that if we really plunge into the show and think about it, we can see that it’s all about timing. In a way, Robin and Ted weren’t ready for each other before, but by the end it seems that they are—and that’s definitely something different.

Ted and Robin in How I Met Your MotherImage: CBS

But then we have to deal with the unrealistic expectations of men that Ted (and Barney, actually) leave behind. Stealing a blue French horn? Finding a locket whose whereabouts were as obscure as the Titanic necklace? Really?

Expecting your husband to guess that you need him to find an ancient locket that used to belong to your grandma that you buried in Central Park when you were 15 years old, so that you can make sure he is the man for you and that he ‘comes through’ (WTF?) is incredibly selfish and self-centred. This is not normal; relationships are not like this. To those who have been in long-term relationships, this might be obvious, but this is not obvious to young girls and boys watching all over the world.

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